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A millennial who moved to Canada for the quality of life shares why he wants to go back to Texas — and why he regrets not waiting to relocate until later in life

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If you ask Dexter Linton, there aren’t many downsides to living in Montreal. But it may not be enough to keep him there.

The 33-year-old sales professional grew up in Arlington, Texas, attended college in Kansas, and then landed a post-graduate internship in Georgia, he told Business Insider via email. In 2015, he decided to move to Montreal on a student visa to pursue a master’s degree in sports business management.

In addition to attending graduate school, Linton said one of the main reasons he moved to Montreal was to “get cultured” and experience something different. The city didn’t disappoint him in this regard.

“It’s extremely cultural, great food scene, safe, bilingualism is an asset,” he said.

But Linton always planned to move back to Texas someday, and he said his feelings hadn’t changed.

In recent years, millions of Americans have moved south. Between July 2022 and 2023, South Carolina, Florida, and Texas were the three fastest-growing states by population in the nation. BI has spoken with several people who’ve relocated to the South in recent years from other regions of the US and Canada. Weather, lower cost of living, and job opportunities were among the reasons they made their moves.

But there are some Americans who, rather than heading south, have moved north to Canada. US-to-Canada movers told BI they did it for more-affordable healthcare, a different political culture, and a fresh start.

For Linton, both Montreal and Texas have their pros and cons.

Montreal has better healthcare and quality of life, but Texas has nicer weather and a lower cost of living

While Montreal’s culture initially drew him to the city, Linton said there were several more reasons he and his wife might want to raise their family there rather than in Texas.

“My wife often brings up the comparatives: healthcare system, education quality, and overall quality of life,” he said.

He said he also felt safer sending his children to school in Canada, given the gun violence that has occurred in the US in recent years.

But Linton said he thought Texas edged out Montreal in three areas.

“Down south, the weather is better, there are more career opportunities, and the cost of living is lower — for now,” he said.

While lower housing costs, for example, have drawn some people to the Lone Star State, the demand uptick associated with a booming population has caused home prices to spike in recent years. Texas still has the perk of no state income tax.

Linton said that, ultimately, being closer to his family — many of them still live in Texas — was a big reason he wanted to move back someday. But some of his wife’s family live in Montreal.

“You make your money in the US, and you get out before it’s too late”

The timing of Linton’s move back to the US is very uncertain. He said it’d be difficult to relocate his family given that his children are young, but that he hoped to move back sometime over the next decade.

In hindsight, Linton said he regretted moving to Montreal as early in his life as he did.

“If I knew what I knew today, I would have established myself in Texas while making frequent trips to Montreal to visit my wife’s family instead of vice versa,” he said.

Linton recalled the advice of a friend, who told him, “You make your money in the US, and you get out before it’s too late.” Linton said the friend was alluding to strong economic opportunities in the US but insufficient support for older Americans — compared with some other countries — to help pay for healthcare costs in retirement.

“I wish we lived in Texas now and moved to Canada later in life,” Linton said.

Have you recently moved to a new state or country and are willing to share your story? If so, reach out to this reporter at jzinkula@businessinsider.com.

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